Items in AFP with MESH term: Cardiotonic Agents
ABSTRACT: Several large clinical trials conducted over the past decade have shown that pharmacologic interventions can dramatically reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with heart failure. These trials have modified and enhanced the therapeutic paradigm for heart failure and extended treatment goals beyond limiting congestive symptoms of volume overload. Part II of this two-part article presents treatment recommendations for patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction. The authors recommend that, if tolerated and not contraindicated, the following agents be used in patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction: an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor in all patients; a beta blocker in all patients except those who have symptoms at rest; and spironolactone in patients who have symptoms at rest or who have had such symptoms within the past six months. Diuretics and digoxin should be reserved, as needed, for symptomatic management of heart failure. Other treatments or treatment programs may be necessary in individual patients.
ABSTRACT: Digoxin therapy has long been used to treat heart failure; however, its effectiveness was not completely known until recently. Results of the Digitalis Investigation Group trial showed that adding digoxin to standard heart failure therapy had no effect on mortality. However, adding digoxin decreased hospitalizations related to heart failure and improved symptoms in patients treated for heart failure. Reanalyses of the trial's findings have raised new questions about the role of digoxin in heart failure treatment. These new analyses showed that low serum digoxin concentrations used in patients with more severe disease offered the most benefit. Digoxin use in women was associated with increased mortality risk. This finding should be interpreted with caution, however, because it was based on retrospective data, and the cause of this phenomenon has not been fully elucidated. Prospective clinical trials are needed to determine the serum digoxin concentration that is associated with the most clinical benefit and to determine the role of digoxin therapy for women. Digoxin generally does not have a role in the treatment of diastolic heart failure and is not a first-line therapy for managing atrial fibrillation in patients with heart failure.
ABSTRACT: Congestive heart failure is a progressive disease with significant morbidity and mortality. Despite advances in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, the incidence and prevalence of congestive heart failure have increased in recent years. Contributing factors include increased survival in patients with coronary artery disease (especially myocardial infarction), an aging population and significant advances in the control of other potentially lethal diseases. New and existing agents, including angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, beta blockers and, more recently, spironolactone, are being used increasingly to prolong life in patients with heart failure. Although digoxin has been used to treat heart failure for more than 200 years, its role in patients with congestive heart failure and sinus rhythm is still debatable. Over the past decade, digoxin has received renewed attention because of recognition of its neurohormonal effect and the successful use of lower dosages. In recent trials, digoxin has been shown to reduce morbidity associated with congestive heart failure but to have no demonstrable effect on survival. The goal of digoxin therapy in patients with congestive heart failure is to improve quality of life by reducing symptoms and preventing hospitalizations.
Health Effects of Hawthorn - Article
ABSTRACT: Hawthorn medicinal extract has long been a favored herbal remedy in Europe. The active components of this slow-acting cardiotonic agent are thought to be flavonoids and oligomeric procyanidins. The most studied hawthorn extracts are WS 1442 and LI 132. Reviews of placebo-controlled trials have reported both subjective and objective improvement in patients with mild forms of heart failure (New York Heart Association classes I through III). Other studies of hawthorn in patients with heart failure have revealed improvement in clinical symptoms, pressure–heart rate product, left ventricular ejection fraction, and patients' subjective sense of well-being. However, there is no evidence of a notable reduction in mortality or sudden death. Hawthorn is well tolerated; the most common adverse effects are vertigo and dizziness. Theoretic interactions exist with antiarrhythmics, antihypertensives, digoxin, and antihyperlipidemic agents. Proven conventional therapies for heart failure are still recommended until the safety and effectiveness of hawthorn has been proven in long-term studies.
Digitalis for Treatment of Congestive Heart Failure in Patients in Sinus Rhythm - Cochrane for Clinicians
Treatment Guidelines for Heart Failure Stress Multidrug Approach - Special Medical Reports
Treatment of Right Ventricular Infarction - Editorials